Marc Ambinder lays out a two-part marker: bi-partisanship won’t lead to health care reform and Congress won’t pass universal health care. He writers:
If universal health care passes–and I don’t think it will–it’ll be because of raw, Democratic muscle not because of some bipartisan lovefest. The dilemmas over the current plans can’t be easily ameliorated with negotiation and compromise. Either you’re for what it takes to get to universal care–a lot of money, some kind of cost control–or you’re not. That’s not going to be easily smoothed over in bipartisan lunches when the Democrats have decades of pent up desire for health care built up and Republicans still have an allergic aversion to government intervention in the marketplace and more spending that isn’t tax cuts.
The lask of affordable health insurance was my sophomore or junior year high school policy debate topic. And that topic, more than homlessness or the environment or whatever my final topic was (wow, do I really not remember?), led to the most outlandish claims — on both sides — that I ever saw high school kids and their coaches and briefing books imagine. For that reason alone, not to mention the push from the Left already leveraged at Obama on this issue, I intuitively agree with Aminder about the “bi-partisanship won’t work” piece.
I’m not so sure, though, about the “not gonna happen” part of his argument. The will from Obama seems to be there, and there’s a dedicated groundswell of support on this issue as well. That is a recipe for disaster for those who oppose it.
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